That’s the message today from Yorkshire bus operators Coastliner, Cityzap and York and Country, as they prepare to introduce additional capacity to many of their routes – providing more buses and extra space for customers and colleagues while ensuring effective social distancing continues.
As government restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic begin to ease, and with safety as its number one priority, the three bus operators are also releasing a series of easy-to-follow messages to their customers – including key workers and those making journeys to access essential services who’ve relied on their bus services throughout the pandemic, as well as those who haven’t travelled since the current situation began.
From Sunday May 31 timetables on many Coastliner and York and Country bus services will be revised, with additional journeys and extra buses in place at busy times, to allow more room for social distancing on board. The popular Cityzap express service between York and Leeds will also return as more people go back to work in both cities, with journeys running to a special timetable.
The changes will see the frequency of many of the most popular services significantly increased, including:
· Coastliner: A bus every hour throughout the day on Monday to Saturday between Leeds, York, Malton and Scarborough, with additional connecting buses serving Pickering and Thornton-le-Dale, and two return journeys a day serving Whitby
· Cityzap: A fast bus every hour throughout the day on Monday to Saturday between York and Leeds, combining with Coastliner to offer two buses every hour linking the Yorkshire cities. Additional journeys will also run in the evening and on Sunday
As part of the operators’ enhanced and extensive daily cleaning regime, a powerful anti-viral mist is sprayed through buses each night – with further deep cleaning at bus stations and destinations throughout the day to maintain the highest standards of hygiene.
Coastliner, Cityzap and York and Country chief executive Alex Hornby said: “An immense amount of work is going on every day behind the scenes to make sure our buses are safe for everyone to use. We’re constantly monitoring customer numbers and adding in extra buses wherever we see journeys becoming busier, so everyone can space out and to enable effective social distancing.
“Our message is fully in line with the Government’s current advice but, as lockdown measures ease, we feel now is the right time to explain more about what we’re doing to keep our customers safe, and what you can do to help when the time comes for you to step on board our buses.
“With extensive cleaning throughout the day and plenty of room on board, right now our buses are among the safest places you can be when travelling. Our collaborative approach sees us introduce a range of initiatives led by colleagues and stakeholders to promote safety on board our buses. All our team continue to be hugely positive and their incredible efforts have got us all through the pandemic – my sincere thanks go to them all.
“The experience gained during the lockdown is helping us to plan ahead now as people begin a limited return to work. We will provide the quickest and best value solution to congestion and air quality in our towns and cities as we move beyond the pandemic – and in the meantime, our buses are clean, safe and we’re here if you need us.”
All three bus companies are installing additional signs on buses and at key bus stops and bus stations giving simple guidance to safe travels. Key advice to protect customers and staff includes:
· Clear and easy to follow guidance – signposted at bus stations and key bus stops as well as on every bus
· Planning a journey? – please bring hand sanitiser and tissues just in case – and wear a face covering if you can
· Before you board – information displays to make sure there’s room for everyone, with key sources online for up-to-the-minute travel information, and ensuring people prioritise essential journeys
· As you board the bus – step on board one at a time, maintaining social distancing as you go. Also, try to avoid using cash, pay by contactless or using the ‘Transdev Go’ mobile app. Protective screens are in place between you and your driver to keep everyone safe
· As you travel – look around. Can you space out more? Limits on customer numbers on each bus are in place, with extra buses running so everyone can spread out. If you need to cough or sneeze, please use a tissue, and take it with you when you leave the bus. Open windows can help to let fresh air flow through your bus as you go
· Leaving your bus – please remain seated until the bus stops. Clear markings on the floor show where it is safe to stay until the doors open and you are ready to leave. Look around to maintain a safe distance from other customers – and please make sure you take all your belongings with you as you go.
Full details of all services run by Coastliner, Cityzap and York and Country, including travel advice and revised timetables which begin from Sunday May 31 are available online here and on the free to download Transdev Go mobile app. Follow @yorkbus on Twitter for constantly updated service information.